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Strive to Bring Your Best (Not Your Baggage) to Work

by Marcus

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People travel between the connected worlds of the personal and professional.

When there’s balance, happiness, purpose and success in life outside business, the version of themselves people take into the workplace is different than when that’s not the case.

Some people believe there’s a barrier between personal and professional lives. If you step back and take a discerning and honest look at your experiences and those of others with whom you’ve worked, you’ll realize that’s not the case. In fact, it’s common for people to carry their personal baggage through the front door, unpack and spread it throughout the workplace.

Extended family matters, parenting challenges and relationship issues all weigh heavily on the hearts and minds of those affected. When they’re not managed effectively, those occurrences also can exert harmful and even lasting effects on attitudes, morale, performance — and businesses.

Compound these with such additional circumstances as financial and health problems, lack of fulfillment and the despair that accompanies them, and the potential for dysfunctional behaviors and disasters increases.

Who people are at work affects team members, customers and bottom lines in profound ways.

Business owners and managers — anyone in leadership roles — have the largest effects, positive and negative, on the work environment. Team members look to these individuals for direction and stability. When leaders are lost in personal issues or unable to separate from them on the job, the entire team will be affected. A noticeable funk can easily overcome an entire department or business.

As a business coach and consultant, I’ve watched top performers lose all sense of direction and focus due to mounting personal issues and their inability to deal with them in constructive ways. Even after years of dedicated work, it can be a quick slide from the top when personal challenges overwhelm the ability to function at the high levels to which they and others have grown accustomed. 

An increase in errors and customer dissatisfaction —often due to lack of focus and disengagement — coupled with a loss of revenue and the negative effects on the work environment can only be tolerated for so long before a team member must be let go. 

This doesn’t have to be the case.

Personal challenges belong solely to the people experiencing them — not everyone at work. And certainly not to customers patronizing the business. One successful strategy is to view work as a timeout or getaway from personal challenges. By diverting your attention and energy to the work at hand, you give yourself a much-needed break from the painful reality of your personal circumstances as well as the opportunity to feel better as you excel professionally. 

I’m in no way suggesting anyone should deny or avoid the challenging realities of their personal lives. My position is quite the opposite. My approach suggests there’s an appropriate time and a place for dealing with the difficulties of life. But that place is not at work.

People often believe they should just pull themselves up by the bootstraps because seeking assistance with their challenges constitutes a sign of weakness. This is a difficult, lonely and unsuccessful route, however. If you find yourself challenged to take back your life on your own, there’s no shame in that. 

Seeking the professional help of a qualified coach to get yourself and your life in balance and on track is a wise choice indeed. It’s amazing what can be accomplished with increased awareness, simple changes in perspective, goal setting and accountability supplied through the unbiased support of a competent coach. 

Unexpected, unwanted and challenging situations are part of life.

They can be difficult, but don’t have to damage or destroy a career or business. If your ability to function at a high level and enjoy success and happiness is compromised by issues in your personal life, get the assistance you need to bring your best — not your baggage — to work.

To learn more about this topic or discuss your unique situation, schedule a FREE EXPLORATORY SESSION by filling out the form below or submitting your information on our Contact Request Form.

This article was written for and published in collaboration with The Business Times newspaper.

Access the article here.